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Carla Bauer, San Juan Capistrano

I want to thank and encourage Pam Patterson for her invocation at the Sept. 1 City Council meeting. I don’t think Dave Solt (The Capistrano Dispatch, Sept. 25, “Call for Equality Following Councilwoman’s Prayer”) realizes that San Juan Capistrano has a large Christian population with over 12 churches and seven Christian schools. We are clearly a Christian community. Thank you, Pam, for representing us.

People have been trying to remove God and that is the reason our culture is on such a fast downhill slide. Without God and the Bible, there is no moral code. “Everyone does what is right in their own eyes.” Judges 21:25

I urge you to support Pam as well.

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comments (23)

  • We, as residents of the surrounding communities of San Juan Capistrano, are humbly and deeply blessed and grateful spiritually. May the Almighty God keep us always in his reign.

  • Religious invocations and prayers have no place in secular government meetings. San Juan is not a “Christian community” it is a community of many religions and also many good people of no religion. Lack of religion is not responsible for “our culture [being] on such a fast downhill slide.” Plenty of bad things happen in the name of religion. Invoking a spiritual figure or eternal consequences shouldn’t be necessary for people to be nice to one another and all it does it divide us further.

  • Carla, I wonder what the point of your letter is exactly. What is it that makes you think SJC is a Christian Community? What does this mean for the residents of the community who do not claim to be Christians? Are they to be marginalized since they live in a Christian Community? There is no truth to your statement about a moral code not existing without God or the Bible. People claiming to work for “God” or the Bible have much to do with “downhill slides” in the past. Consider adding tolerance and respect for your neighbors to your own moral code, perhaps.

  • There is no difference between those who feel this is a Christian Nation and want to impose their Christian laws, morals and viewpoints on everyone in society and those Muslims who believe in imposing Sharia law in a country. You are so blinded by your faith that you refuse to believe or accept that there are others in your community who feel differently than you do and are offended (and frightened) when their elected government officials attempt to enact their non secular beliefs into the force of law. Would your definition of the “Christian community” include that church in upstate New York that brainwashed parents into beating their two teenage sons, one of them to death. If that is Christianity then please keep it very far away from me. You are free to express your faith in your house of worship, but please respect me and others by keeping it out of City Hall. It does not belong there.

    • You said,
      “There is no difference between those who feel this is a Christian Nation and want to impose their Christian laws, morals and viewpoints on everyone in society and those Muslims who believe in imposing Sharia law in a country.”

      How about if I claimed that the secularists in America, who ARE forcing their viewpoints on “everyone in society”, are no different than the atheist communists in the old Soviet Union?

      Would your definition of a secular society include Pol Pot’s Cambodia? The murdering Marxist Derg in Ethiopia? Mao’s China?

      “…when their elected government officials…enact their non secular beliefs into the force of law.”

      What law did Pam Patterson enact?

      “You are free to express your faith in your house of worship…”

      Why thank you for being so magnanimous that you would allow people of faith to express their “faith” in the privacy of their Church. Will YOU allow us to do so in any other public setting?

      Throughout the history of the Soviet Union (1922-1991), Soviet authorities suppressed and persecuted various forms of Christianity to different extents depending on the particular era. Soviet policy, based on the ideology of Marxism-Leninism, made atheism the official doctrine of the Soviet Union. Marxism-Leninism has consistently advocated the control, suppression, and the elimination of religious beliefs.[1]

      The state was committed to the destruction of religion,[2][3] and destroyed churches, mosques and temples, ridiculed, harassed and executed religious leaders, flooded the schools and media with atheistic teachings, and generally promoted atheism as the truth that society should accept.[4][5] The total number of Christian victims of Soviet state atheist policies, has been estimated to range between 12-20 million.[6][7][8]

      • Thank you for proving my point David. Radical Islamists and Born Again Conservative Christians both want to drag us back to the dark ages. Your effort to restart the McCarthy era and parade the communist boogeyman does not carry the same ability to frighten the citizenry and incite a witch hunt like it did in the 1950s. As for our “Christian” Founding Fathers perhaps you need to do more research into their Masonic beliefs and how incompatible those are with Born Again Christian beliefs. Please recall those Masonic Founding Fathers drafted a First Amendment that prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion. One can deduce that the Founding Fathers were very skeptical of organized religion. By your analogy that makes the Founding Fathers communist, marxist and maoists. Oh my!

    • For “David:”
      “We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideas of Christianity. Our movement is Christian.” Adolf Hitler

  • The biggest genocide in human history didn’t occur in Nazi Germany, but on American soil. 100 million Native Americans were slaughtered and lost their homeland.

    Historical Fact: Most of the people doing the slaughtering were Christians.

    • “…were Christians.”

      They’re only Christians when one wishes to criticize them; when they’re our Founding Fathers building our nation on Christian principles, then these folks suddenly become agnostics, Deists, and atheists.

      “100 million Native Americans were slaughtered….”

      Where did you dream up that figure?

      • Here is a early time line. The killing began with the diseases we introduced–e.g. small pox, typhus, cholera.


        A disease that is thought to be smallpox sweeps through what is now the Massachusettes Bay. Nine out of ten die. The disease is thought to have been brought by a fishing crew or the crew of Thomas Hunt’s slaving expedition in 1615. Because they are so few in number, the Indian people cannot stop the Mayflower from landing in 1620.

        By now 90 percent to 95 percent of the Mesoamerican Indians alive in 1519 have been killed by European diseases. The bubonic plague that began in Florida has spread to New England

        A small pox epidemic strikes the Huron of Ontario.

        English settlers carry germs that set off another wave of smallpox and possibly that kill many of the remaining Indian people of what is by now called New England. Smallpox spreads westward to the tribes living near what are now the Great Lakes. Over 10,000 Huron die.

        Dutch traders introduce smallpox to what is now Connecticut. Ninety-five percent of the American Indians living along what is now the Connecticut River die. The epidemic moves north to what is now Canada.

        Nearly half of the Huron people of what is now Canada die from European diseases brought by fur traders and missionaries.

        A disease believed to be scarlet fever kills new England Indians and spreads west to the Great Lakes region.

        Indians of the Northeast die from an influenza epidemic.

        A smallpox epidemic kills Indian people in New England.

        A measles epidemic kills New England Indians.

        More than a thousand Iroquois people die from smallpox in central New York state.

        Another wave of smallpox sweeps through New England and then the Great Lakes killing many Indian people.

        Google is a really amazing device for gathering information.

    • @ Joanna Clark,

      In your initial post, YOU claimed that “100 million Native Americans were slaughtered” and that “most of the people doing the slaughtering were Christians”.

      When I asked where you dreamed up that figure, you provide a list of unknown numbers of people dying from diseases. I think the impartial reader can distinguish the difference between people dying of diseases, diseases in which both Native American and Europeans die, and being “slaughtered”.

      So, I’m still waiting, where did your magical 100 million slaughtered come from? And just how many people were there in the area that became the continental United States during our first 100 years?

      A dictionary is also an amazing device, one which you desperately need to consult on this issue.

      • David, I’ll also be waiting for Ms. Clark’s response to her VERY MUCH exaggerated “100 million slaughtered” claim/comment.

  • “Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it.”

    André Gide

  • @ Trent

    “Thank you for proving my point…”

    Really? In what alternate universe? YOU were the one fabricating “boogey” men with your far-fetched comparison of Christians to Sharia law promoting Muslims and doing so without a shred of evidence.

    Did you deliberately misunderstand my QUESTION “How about if I claimed that the secularists…?” or did you truly fail to see how my question was meant to highlight how ridiculous your comparison was?

    “…deduce that the Founding Fathers were very skeptical of organized religion.”

    So skeptical they were avid church goers.

    So skeptical, that 1806 Thomas Jefferson (TJ) signed an act recommending officers and soldiers attend divine services and should they “behave indecently or irreverently at any place of divine worship, shall, if commissioned officers, be brought before a general court martial…” Soldiers were to pay a fine.

    So skeptical, that TJ, following the precedent set by Washington and Adams, used public monies to fund missionaries to the Indians and through treaties, build churches for them and in the case of the Kaskaskia Indians, pay for a priest for seven years.

    So skeptical, that one of the earliest items of business for the First Congress was the election of chaplains to open each legislative session with PRAYER. Two days before the final wording of the First Amendment was drafted, a statute providing compensation for chaplains’ services was enacted by Congress. This would be the very First Amendment whose religion clauses YOU only referred to in part; no doubt because to refer to the whole religion clause, would be to undermine your a-historical view.

    • @ david

      One other tidbit on ol’ TJ’s religious beliefs that you left out (I’m sure purely by accident): He did not believe in the divinity of Christ. That’s right, your revered founding father TJ (and ol’ Benny Franklin too) believed that Jesus was a mere man, the same as you and me. He was not sent by God to die for your sins and he was most certainly not resurrected from the dead. He was born of a mother and a father, no miracle virgin birth, and he did not go around changing water into wine or any of the other hocus-pocus magic tracks attributed to him as “miracles”. If only we could have a politician today that was as level-headed and rationale about religion as ol’ TJ! The First Amendment treatment of religion is really quite simple; government stays out of religion and religion stays out of government. Pam crossed that line when she used the City Hall council dais as her pulpit to espouse her personal religious beliefs. If she keeps crossing that line, before you know it SJC will be just like Arkansas with the satanists petitioning to put up a statue of beelzebub right next to City Hall. Yeah, that’s actually happening. Google it.

  • As perhaps the least religious of the FFs, TJ’s personal theology is irrelevant to the discussion though in fact he did consider himself a Christian. What is relevant is the facts I stated above because these go directly to actions, policies, and laws as opposed to mere personal beliefs.

    In 1785, TJ wrote and James Madison introduced, 5 bills or revisals touching on religion only one of which has received wide spread recognition, “A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom”. The 2nd was meant to save the property of the Anglican Church, the 3rd was called “A Bill for Punishing Disturbers of Religious Worship and Sabbath Breakers” and along with Sunday closing laws, preserved the sanctity of the Christian day of rest. The 4th was “A Bill for Appointing Days of Public Fasting and Thanksgiving” which stated:

    “Every minister of the gospel shall on each day so to be appointed, attend and perform divine service and preach a sermon, or discourse suited to the occasion, in his church, on pain of forfeiting fifty pounds for every failure, not having a reasonable excuse.”

    Although this 4th Bill was never enacted, TJ and JM’s sponsorship of it was evidence that they had no problem with government supporting religion (meaning Christianity) in general.

    The 5th Bill was entitled: “A Bill Annulling Marriages Prohibited by the Levitical Law”.

    As far as Pam Patterson goes, her prayers were consistent with what the FFs espoused, practiced, and instituted into law. Indeed, Benjamin Franklin suggested to the members of the constitutional convention that a Chaplain lead them in prayer each day before undertaking any government business.

    When learning the methods of studying history, a first principle is NOT to anachronistically project back onto citizens of the past, the ideas and cultural norms of the present. In reviewing the era of our FFs, strict separationists avoid this principle like the plague because if they don’t, their whole premise is undermined.

  • Here are some additional TJ tidbits you left out: (quoting from a piece about TJ’s religious beliefs on “in Query XVII of Notes on the State of Virginia, he clearly outlines the views which led him to play a leading role in the campaign to separate church and state and which culminated in the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom: “The rights of conscience we never submitted, we could not submit. We are answerable for them to our God. The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. … Reason and free enquiry are the only effectual agents against error. Jefferson’s religious views became a major public issue during the bitter party conflict between Federalists and Republicans in the late 1790s when Jefferson was often accused of being an atheist.”

  • @ david. For someone who otherwise comes off as intelligent I am at a loss to explain how you could misinterpret the quote to which you refer. The intent of that quote is that the Government should not be able to censure or legislate against a citizen based on their belief in one God or twenty Gods. It absolutely does not speak to the ability of a government actor to impart their religious views in an official government capacity. To read it that way is to do it, and TJ, a disservice. Bottom-line, the content of Pam’s speech likely crossed a line beyond a mere convocation prayer that is Constitutionally permissible. In doing so she opens the City up to a law suit and that is unwise. I am also awaiting the City to give other denominations and people of other beliefs the opportunity to offer the opening convocation for future meetings. I realize they would have to apply for that and perhaps they simply haven’t and that is why only the Christian viewpoint is presented.

  • Can we all talk about the original post? SJC is not a Christian community. In a community filled with so many families that hardly follow the path of Christ (highly doubt Jesus would have driven a nice SUV and lived in a nice mansion on top of a hill), I don’t get how people can sit there with a straight face and act like they’re so righteous.

    No thanks.

  • “I don’t get how people can sit there with a straight face and act like they’re so righteous.”

    Who says they are?

    Why does it bother you that some are appreciative of the fact that their faith, which has been under attack, is finally being recognized in the public square? Cannot people simply be happy that others are made glad?

    And what is a Christian community? Is it a community where the majority professes to follow Christ? Is it a community where Christians can practice their religion openly without fear of being attacked either verbally or in writing? Each person may have their own definition of what a Christian community is and thus, so much disagreement.

    Those who are the quickest to appeal to tolerance, or more accurately, demand it, are the ones who appear to demonstrate it the least. For them, tolerance is a one-way street.

  • “We tolerate no one in our ranks who attacks the ideas of Christianity. Our movement is Christian.” Adolf Hitler
    ‘Nuff said.

    • @ ChristieD

      “‘Nuff said.”

      Nuff said for the simple, but others demand a more rigorous examination of the issues. See the below:

      Heinrich Himmler’s biography lists him as a neo-pagan. Joseph Goebbels was excommunicated. Martin Bormann urged Hitler to attack the church. Hermann Goering said “”If the Catholic Christian is convinced that the Pope is infallible in all religious and ethical matters, so we National Socialists declare with the same ardent conviction that for us too the Führer is absolutely infallible…”

      “Hitler’s intimates, such as Joseph Goebbels, Albert Speer and Martin Bormann, recorded that Hitler was deeply hostile to Christianity.”

      “In his memoirs, Hitler’s chief architect, Albert Speer, wrote “Amid his political associates in Berlin, Hitler made harsh pronouncements against the church…”, yet “he conceived of the church as an instrument that could be useful to him”:[81]”

      “Goebbels wrote on 29 April 1941 that though Hitler was “a fierce opponent” of the Vatican and Christianity, “he forbids me to leave the church. For tactical reasons.”[82]”

      “According to Speer, Hitler’s private secretary, Martin Bormann, relished recording any harsh pronouncements against the church: “there was hardly anything he wrote down more eagerly than deprecating comments on the church”.[83] Speer wrote that Bormann was the driving force behind the regime’s campaign against the churches. Hitler approved of Bormann’s aims, but was more pragmatic and wanted to “postpone this problem to a more favourable time”:[84]”

      “Richard Evans also reiterated the view that Nazism was secular, scientific and anti-religious in outlook in the last volume of his trilogy on Nazi Germany: “Hitler’s hostility to Christianity reached new heights, or depths, during the war;” his source for this was the 1953 English translation of Table Talk.[58]”

      “According to the Goebbels Diaries, Hitler hated Christianity.” “…and Nazi propaganda supported the German Christians in their formation of a single national church that could be controlled and manipulated.[117]”

      ” However, as Hitler consolidated his power, schools became a major battleground in the Nazi campaign against the churches. In 1937, the Nazis banned any member of the Hitler Youth from simultaneously belonging to a religious youth movement. Religious education was not permitted in the Hitler Youth and by 1939, clergymen teachers had been removed from virtually all state schools.[136]”

      “Most in these latter categories were “convinced Nazis who had left their Church at the behest of the Party, which had been trying since the mid 1930s to reduce the influence of Christianity in society”.[147]”

      “This was coupled with a strong antipathy to Christianity among SS officers ‘that far exceeded traditional anti-clericalism,’ with priests portrayed as ‘befrocked homosexuals’…”

      “When those not in agreement organised their opposition and, calling themselves the Confessing Church, publicly proclaimed articles of faith that denied the position of the German Christians, they eventually came under severe persecution by the State. About the end of March 1935 six hundred of the principal leaders of the Confessing Church were arrested and many others received visits from the Gestapo to emphasize the government’s point of view concerning these matters.[200] Later, there were new arrests, and it began to be known that those who had been taken away were ending up in concentration camps.[201] Given the totalitarian atmosphere of Nazi Germany at that time, it would be ingenuous to believe that these measures against the Confessing Church and in support of the policies of the German Christians might have been taken without Adolf Hitler’s consent.[117] The Confessing Church seminary was banned. Its leaders, like Dietrich Bonhoeffer were arrested. Implicated in the 1944 July Plot to assassinate Hitler, he was later executed.[202]”

      The confessing church was made up of those who held true to Christian doctrine, ie., those believing in “the invisible friend” as Marc likes to call God. The confessing church was the main opponents in Germany to Hitler’s megalomania, the universities rolled over for him.

      “Kerrl initially had some success in this regard, but amid continuing protests by the Confessing Church against Nazi policies, he accused dissident churchmen of failing to appreciate the Nazi doctrine of “Race, blood and soil”. He rejected the Apostle’s Creed…”

      “…church officials were well aware that the ultimate aim of Hitler and other Nazis was the total elimination of Catholicism and of the Christian religion. Since the overwhelming majority of Germans were either Catholic or Protestant this goal had to be a long-term rather than a short-term Nazi objective.”[209] According to Shirer, “under the leadership of Rosenberg, Bormann and Himmler—backed by Hitler—the Nazi regime intended to destroy Christianity in Germany…”
      “…the greatest challenge the Nazis had to face was their effort to eradicate Christianity in Germany…”

      The two articles quoted above are:

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